Arg. For all of our mad hoarding skillz, we have somehow managed to lose a recipe we clipped over a decade ago.
The worst part? It’s a simple chicken and rice bake that’s easy enough to just wing. In fact, we used to do just that — to delicious results. We transformed it into a Cajun version, an Italian version, even a half-hearted Jamaican riff that was pretty good.
But, stubbornly, we are obsessing over the exact ratio of ingredients.
God, somebody help us here. We’re sure it was a Lucy Waverman recipe from the Globe and Mail in 1998/1999ish.
Recipe calls for dredging and browning chicken breasts, then adding raw basmati, diced onion, tomato, red pepper, garlic, chicken broth and fresh lemon juice. Maybe oregano or thyme.
I guess it’s kind of similar to Arroz Con Pollo.
It was freaking great, and every time we take a stab at it from memory, it just ain’t the same.
In the meantime, a different experience, but still chicken and rice:
Latino-Style Chicken and Rice (Arroz con Pollo)
Cook’s Illustrated September 1, 2006.
To keep the dish from becoming greasy, it is important to remove excess fat from the chicken thighs and trim the skin. To use long-grain rice instead of medium-grain, increase the water to 3/4 cup in step 2.
6 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar plus 2 additional teaspoons
Ground black pepper
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), trimmed of excess skin and fat
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion , chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1 small green bell pepper , stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup water
3 cups medium-grain rice (see note above)
1/2 cup green olives (manzanilla), pitted and halved
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 cup jarred pimentos , cut into 1/4 by 2-inch strips
Lemon wedges , for serving
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Place garlic and 1 teaspoon salt in large bowl; using rubber spatula, mix to make smooth paste. Add oregano, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to garlic-salt mixture; stir to combine. Place chicken in bowl with marinade. Coat chicken pieces evenly with marinade; set aside for 15 minutes.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, green pepper, and pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, 4 to 8 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons cilantro; stir to combine. Push vegetables to sides of pot and increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to clearing in center of pot, skin side down, in even layer. Cook, without moving chicken, until outer layer of meat becomes opaque, 2 to 4 minutes. (If chicken begins to brown, reduce heat to medium.) Using tongs, flip chicken and cook on second side until opaque, 2 to 4 minutes more. Add tomato sauce, broth, and water; stir to combine. Bring to simmer; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Add rice, olives, capers, and 3/4 teaspoon salt; stir well. Bring to simmer, cover, and place pot in oven. After 10 minutes, remove pot from oven and stir chicken and rice once from bottom up. Return pot to oven. After another 10 minutes, stir once more, adding 1/4 cup water if rice appears dry and bottom of pot is beginning to burn. Cover and return pot to oven; cook until rice has absorbed all liquid and is tender but still holds its shape and temperature of chicken registers 175 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes longer.
4. Using tongs, remove chicken from pot; replace lid and set pot aside. Remove and discard chicken skin; using 2 spoons, pull meat off bones into large chunks. Using fingers, remove remaining fat or dark veins from chicken pieces. Place chicken in large bowl and toss with remaining tablespoon olive oil, remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro, and pimentos; season with salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken on top of rice, cover, and let stand until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Serve, passing lemon wedges separately.